Detroit …… you need to have been here ……… to have any kind of understanding of this place …….. This city really is the poster child of the terrible issues of urban blight and economic collapse …… a blight that devastates neighborhoods ……… traditional neighborhood homes here are literally collapsing with the destruction of the economics that had previously supported and nurtured these communities ……… the thought of all the stories of desperation that seem to emanate from each rotting empty home brings me down …….. and yet somehow Detroit keeps on fighting …… the people here really are great ……
The official motto of the city seems weirdly prophetic …… This from the Wall Street Journal :
“Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus”
“We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes”
That motto, Detroit’s, comes from a French Roman Catholic priest, Father Gabriel Richard. He was born in France in 1767 and moved to Baltimore in 1792 to teach math. Reassigned to do missionary work, he moved first to Illinois and later to Detroit, where he was the assistant pastor at St. Anne’s Church.
St Anne’s Church, in the southwest part of the city, stands between Michigan Central Station and the Ambassador Bridge. It was founded in 1701 and could be the oldest continuously operating Roman Catholic parish in the U.S.
On June 11, 1805, a fire destroyed nearly the entire city, weeks before the Michigan Territory was established. It was that fire that led Mr. Richard to write: “Speramus meliora; resurgent cineribus.”
I spoke to these men demolitioning an empty foreclosed home in the East of the city ……. one told me their small demolition company can sometimes demolish 300 properties a week ….. another giant number popped into my head as he said this … I think its 68,000 more Detroit homes …….. have just begun the process of being foreclosed………
Cheers Jez XXXXXXX
[ 14 ] comments
- Tragic and sad….so many people here in New York City still displaced from Hurricane Sandy and waiting for a buyout from the Governor, a deal with Detroit could have been a fresh and fair new start for many…too many cities with people being gutted.
kingofnewyorkhacks @ December 3, 2014, 8:08 am
- Yes this place has lost half its population …….there is more than enough empty space to accommodate some new residents…… and maybe the economics of the city is picking up enough for there to be jobs and commercial opportunity enough to support new folks ….. its so sad to see these gutted communities and perfectly good homes just falling into total disrepair because so many people have lost their jobs and then their homes are emptied through foreclosure …….. foreclosure has worked as a tactic for banks in the past if it only effects a very small percentage of the population …… but here it has been a weapon of mass destruction ……. it has introduced the cancer of blight to those neighborhoods ……. and it spread and killed those neighborhoods …. tragic stuff….Im gonna be in NYC for a couple of days in a week bro…… I’ll give u a shout …. we gotta get together……. :-)))
Cheers bro Jez XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Jezblog Detroit :-)) XXX @ December 3, 2014, 9:22 pm
- Very sad to see a mighty city being destroyed house by house
Caroline Heart @ December 5, 2014, 10:54 am
- Yes its a complicated story in Detroit …. u r right some, many, of the city neighborhoods have been devastated by economic collapse and urban blight …. there are terrible stories of economic hardship and stress from there and yet…. and yet sort of counter intuitively….. some of Detroit notably Downtown and Midtown seem to be roaring back…..Cheers Jez XXXXXXX
Jezblog Detroit :-)) XXX @ December 5, 2014, 11:47 am
- Funnily enough I was working with a fantastic, energetic, funny and amazingly clever lady from Detroit – Michelle – who has just returned there, talking to her, like you say about Downtown etc turned all my preconceptions about Detroit on their head….whilst I’m on the subject of “Motor City”…how come NYC can take a massive bailout from the US Govt and subsequently announce that it is moving all its production to Mexico…cynical, grasping f^^ers!!
Jack the Belcher xx @ December 6, 2014, 10:35 pm
- Detroit specializes in fab folks :-)) And yeh def …. Detroit is surprising and interesting, sad and amazing in equal measure …. Some of it is depressing grim poverty with working families …lives devastated by foreclosure and economic blight ….. and other bits are totally flash and rolling …. and I guess overall the whole economics are coming back .. but it is a very specific place…. like no other US city it really is an odd place .Ultimately … the people make this place …… people like your friend …. :-))) XXXCheers Jez XXXXX
Jezblog Detroit :-)) XXX @ December 7, 2014, 1:37 pm
- I meant to say GMC ..stoopid spellchecker!!
J the B xx @ December 6, 2014, 10:36 pm
- Yes I read that a couple of times then thought……. ah yes ….that’ll be GMC ….. good ol Spell check ….. does yer brains in sometimes……Cheers baby XXXX
Jezblog Detroit :-)) XXX @ December 7, 2014, 1:17 pm
- PS I’m in your old room at Miss Lois..back in the UK next week for a bit!
J the B xx @ December 6, 2014, 10:38 pm
- Miss Lois place ?? Ah yes a mighty place indeed loved that place give them my regards :-))) I am in Detroit until Thursday …. then in New York for a couple of days …. then London for a few days 4 I think? ….. then off to JoBerg SA …. maybe we can meet up in London before or after SA … I think SA is about 14 days …. how long are u gonna be in the UK ??Cheers bro Jez XXXXXXXXXXXX
Jezblog Detroit :-)) XXX @ December 7, 2014, 2:41 pm
- Did you hear about UK born US photojournalist killed in a rescue attempt by US forces in Yemen..man that place really is the home of the botched rescue attempt.. RIP..
Jackus xx @ December 7, 2014, 5:43 am
- U were lucky they did try to extract u from your vacation there ……..
Jezblog Detroit :-)) XXX @ December 7, 2014, 2:43 pm
- I meant to say his name.. Luke Somers :((
MJ @ December 7, 2014, 5:44 am
- Yes so tragic for him and his family ……. and for the SA hostage Pierre Korkie too …. even more unfortunate apparently a deal over a ransom was being done for him…. just tragic …..RIP …….. Luke and Pierre …….
Cheers bro Jez XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Jezblog Detroit :-)) XXX @ December 7, 2014, 2:47 pm